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Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas is a 2006 film written and directed by Scott Lew, starring Patrick Fugit and Olivia Wilde.

Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas
Movie poster
Directed byScott Lew
Produced byMichael Caldwell
Richard Hutton
Andrew Miano
Jeremiah Samuels
Written byScott Lew
StarringPatrick Fugit
Olivia Wilde
Fran Kranz
John Cho
Matthew Lillard
Music byJohn Swihart
CinematographyLowell Peterson
Edited byJonathan Corn
Distributed byScreen Media Films
Release date
May 2006 (2006-05) (Aspen)
May 2007
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1 million


The film starts out with the quote "Nothing can ever be truly, fully understood. Not even the most simple idea. Not even this."

Bickford Shmeckler (Patrick Fugit) is a lonely college student who keeps a journal known as "The Book" of his philosophical ideas and theories. One night during a loud toga party, his book is stolen by the inebriated and beautiful Sarah Witt (Olivia Wilde) who briefly meets Bickford and is shown to be a kleptomaniac. Sarah becomes enamored with the writings, and experiences what she calls "braingasms". After showing The Book to her boyfriend Trent, she rants about how she would love to meet the author (and have sex with him). Later that night, Bickford discovers that the book is missing and begins to panic.

By interrogating his roommates, Bickford quickly finds and meets Sarah while she is working at the school's art studio. She kisses him, and explains that his work inspired her to paint. They go to Trent's dorm and discover that he threw the book out over his jealously that Sarah was so taken with Bickford's work. Sarah then breaks up with him after Bickford fruitlessly searched through the trash can the book was left in and doesn't find it.

A homeless man who found it, extorts Bickford to heal him before he will return The Book to Bickford.

Meanwhile, the owners of a comic book store read the book and fall in love with it, reprinting it, distributing free copies of it, and going as far as selling related merchandise. Eventually, Sarah and Bickford meet, and she tries to explain how meaningful his writings are. They learn of the free distribution of his book, and Bickford confronts the comic store owners.

Even once his journal is back in his possession, Schmeckler must struggle with the book's newfound popularity, his relationship with Sarah, and the reasons he began developing the book in the first place.

After their relationship develops, Bickford reveals to Sarah that he and his mother were in a massive car accident several years earlier that resulted in her death. Though the event was not his fault, he feels responsible.


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